Cycling at Calke Abbey
Get wonderful views from your saddle as you explore the ancient parkland at Calke Abbey on a leisurely bike ride along the Tramway Trail. With cycle hire facilities, guided rides and one-to-one lessons available, there are lots of ways to explore on two wheels. Discover more about cycling at Calke here.
Riding the Tramway Trail
Venture into the wider parkland on two wheels with a bike ride along the Tramway Trail, Calke Abbey’s circular multi-use trail. With a relatively flat terrain and minimal road crossings, it’s the perfect route for a family bike ride.
The figure-of-eight route takes you through woodland, farmland and pasture, as well as along part of the route of the historic horse-drawn tramway. Cycle around both loops to experience the full 10km trail, or a single loop for a shorter 6km ride.
The easiest way to access the Tramway Trail is by parking at Calke Explore, which has direct access to the route. You can also park in the main car park, where you’ll find a map outside the ticket office – the team will also be happy to point you in the direction of the trail.
Cycle hire information
Find your pedal power at Calke’s brand-new cycle hire facility – open now at Calke Explore, within close pedalling distance of the Tramway Trail. Cycle hire is available every weekend, school holiday and bank holiday from 10am to 4.30pm (last hire 2.30pm).
Prices: £6 for the first bike, £4 per additional bike for 2 hours hire, or add an extra hour for £1 per bike. Adult and children’s bikes are available, with a limited number of trailers and balance bikes (no extra cost for trailers).
Cycle hire small print
- Helmets are included in your hire, but feel free to bring your own.
- Please return your bike to the cycle hire hut before 4.30pm. You can hire a bike after 2.30pm, but please be aware that it will still need to be returned by 4.30pm.
- Bikes are available to hire on a first-come, first-served basis (pre-booking not available at the moment).
- Cash and card payments are accepted.
- All cycle equipment will be thoroughly sanitised after each use, and hand sanitiser will be available.
Guided bike rides and lessons
If you’re new to cycling or haven’t been on the bike for a while, we offer guided rides and one-to-one sessions to help you build confidence or learn to ride from scratch. Take a look at our cycle sessions below:
Guided Ride: The Tramway Trail
Guided rides are group sessions for up to six adults who are new to cycling, haven’t ridden for many years, are returning to cycling after an injury or want to build confidence on the bike.
Cycling along the Tramway Trail, a peaceful and relatively flat route around the Calke Estate, we’ll show you all the essentials for stress-free riding – from cycling with gears and pedalling techniques, to basic maintenance and bike repairs.
Dates: Mon 15 Aug; 10.15am and 12.15pm (rides last for 75 minutes).
Price: £5 per person; bring your own bike or borrow one from Calke (no extra charge).
Booking: Booking is essential for Guided Rides; please email firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings and enquiries.
Where to meet: Guided Rides start at Calke Explore. If you need to borrow a bike, please arrive early for a fitting, helmet included. Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for the weather.
Your Cycle Sessions
Are you keen to learn how to ride, or have kids who are wobbly on their wheels? Join a 30-minute, one-to-one session for adults or children, where we’ll help you get to grips with the basics of cycling.
Dates: Your Cycle Sessions typically run for 30 minutes, at 2pm and 2.45pm. At the moment there are no planned dates - but watch this space for more updates.
Price: £8 per person; bring your own bike or borrow one from Calke (no extra charge).
Booking: Booking is essential for Your Cycle Sessions; please email email@example.com for bookings and enquiries.
Where to meet: Your Cycle Sessions start at Calke Explore. If you need to borrow a bike, please arrive early for a fitting, helmet included. Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for the weather.
National Play Day
This National Play Day, we are encouraging families to come out and play, with a balance bike course available to small children with balance bikes or small pedal bikes to hone their cycling skills.
The cycle hire team will be on hand in a gazebo next to the course, to support children with their cycling skills, as they zip around a course of weave poles and ramps. You can bring your own balance bike or borrow one for free; so, stop by for an hour or two, or stay the whole day, it’s up to you.
Dates: Wed 3 Aug from 10am to 3pm.
Booking: Turn up on the day.
Where to meet: The gazebo and course will be set up in the overflow car park at Calke Explore. Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for the weather.
Accessible Cycling Day
Join us for a ride next Wednesday 10 August for an accessible cycling day with Cycle Derby.
We'll be joined by Cycle Derby, Tomcat and Mountain Trike who will be bringing along their specially adapted bikes and cycling kit, as well as their expertise. Suitable for people with limited mobility and accessibility needs, you'll be able to have a go and try out different bikes with the support of the teams from each supplier. There will be options to suit both children and adults.
Dates: Wed 10 Aug from 10am to 3pm.
Booking: Turn up on the day and have a go.
Where to meet: Overflow car park at Calke Explore. Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for the weather.
Calke's cycle code
We ask that cyclists behave responsibly and respect other people enjoying the Calke Abbey estate, and the livestock in the parkland. Get the most out of your cycling adventure by following Calke's cycling code:
- Be courteous and patient with other path users, letting walkers know you're there and giving way to slower users.
- Control your speed according to the surface conditions, ensuring you can stop in time, and be wary of loose stones and tree roots, which can be slippery when wet.
- Be particularly careful at road junctions and crossings, and look out for bends or other 'blind spots' where people could appear in front of you without warning.
- Remember to stick to the designated cycle routes – for more information please ask a member of the welcome team.
- Dismount when approaching the stableyard buildings, Tramway tunnels and gateways, and please close the gates behind you.
Looking after Calke Abbey
You can help us care for Calke by taking all litter home with you and presenting any National Trust membership cards to a member of the team.
Please note that all non-members arriving by car, bike or foot are required to pay an admission fee for entry into the parkland. This supports vital conservation work in the outdoors at Calke Abbey, so that we can protect this special place for everyone, for ever.